I know the subject can be omitted in untensed clauses. But I've encountered with the following:

You spent more money than was intended to be spent.

Here, 'than' seems to be functioning like a relative pronoun. Compare : You spent the money that was intended. Could you please explain it with any authentic reference?

  • Than is a word that occurs only in Comparative constructions; it identifies the baseline phenomenon being compared against. Comparatives are extremely complex constructions, involving at least two independent quantifications and a balancing of their values. They have their own grammar rules. In this case the baseline clause following than should be something like than the amount of money that Indef intended to spend, with passive and various deletion rules producing this output. May 6, 2020 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


You are just being induced into wrong deductions on the count of the elliptical structure in this idiomatic comparison. A complete formulation would be

"You spent more money than the money that was intended to be spent.",

and so, "than" does not function as a relative pronoun; it might seem to be that way because a relative pronoun is elliptical.

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